While doing hospital ministry, I brought the Eucharist to a businessman who was recovering from heart surgery. He was on the phone when I entered the room, so he waved me away. As I left, I heard him say he was being released the next day. I later learned that he died that evening.
Those of us who have lost a loved one to a sudden, unexpected death quickly become aware of the fragility of life. That can be a good or bad thing depending on what we do with that awareness. If it leads to too much fear and anxiety, it is obviously destructive. But if it continues to alter our understanding of what is truly important in life, it can be transformative. Although we will never live them out perfectly, hopefully the gospel values of justice, mercy and forgiveness take on more urgency when we think of the end of our life.
Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.
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